Storm starts

For the dverse prompt.


it starts with wind

the hissing of leaves

tree-waves rolling

spume spitting and birds flung high

on jetsam wings buffeted


it starts

sharp stinging

sand or salt

while cloud boils up

black and bitter with thunderous rage


rain lashes

no mercy for tender shoots

the old and brittle

storm howls with no words

though we listen hard


close the shutters against the gale

mop up the creeping fingers of wild water

listen to things bend and break

the loose masonry clattering

down the chimney flue



when calm washes back

we wonder what we did wrong

as the singing picks up

where it left off


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

56 thoughts on “Storm starts”

    1. I don’t mind clouds or rain as long as they stay outside. It’s when they come in through the roof I get upset. There’s another one due today and it seems to be coming from the same direction…

      1. It’s if there’s a lot of wind that there’ll be a problem. There’s nothing in the attic windows. The shutters have just fallen from together and husband’s making new ones. Just have wait for the paint to dry…

  1. The rainy season has reared up here in Florida USA with 3 tropical storms already surging round us. Rain blowing sideways is both awesome and awful. Yet how the world resumes its little business after the harrows!

    1. The world turns, but we’re influencing the way it turns. Our storms aren’t like your tropical storms but we feel the flimsy nature of our housing when is blows, and how little it takes to destroy it all.

  2. So much to like here – ‘the creeping fingers of wild water’ – always the southerly windows at our place. – ‘spume spitting’ is such a dynamic line – and the wonderful coda – ‘the singing picks up…’ – and finally (phew) – the photos -completely unnecessary, completely beautiful.

    1. Thanks Peter 🙂 It’s usually the west windows that cop it, but this was a freak storm, slammed us from the east where the tiles don’t meet the wall and there’s no flashing. The wind drove the stream like flogging a horse, and when it reached the culvert there was just too much of it to get through and we had a flash flood. All gone now but it was wild, and there’s mud everywhere.

  3. Oh no! You did get a storm? What about your windows? I love “the creeping fingers of wild water” and the singing that picks up where it left off after the storm.
    We had the storm earlier in the day, and then another round with a tornado alert at night after I posted my poem.

    1. It blew up, went dark, and passed us by. Didn’t even get any rain. We were all geared up with big plastic containers everywhere. I think you got it instead 🙂

      1. No, it’s hot and humid, but the sun is out. We got our a/c fixed just in time. Even Ricky the Cat was dragging. We have a chance of storms later in the day–so maybe!

      2. It’s a general change. The temperatures regularly go over 104°F here in the summer, and it used to be exceptional. Not sure how hot it would have to get outside for it to be uncomfortable indoors. 120° maybe 🙂

      3. We probably have temperatures mainly in the 80s and 90s in the summer–sometimes going into the 100s, but when you have high humidity, too, it’s pretty awful. Right now it’s only in the low 70s, but 93% humidity.

      4. They don’t measure the humidity here. It’s not a big issue like it is in your cities. If humidity ever does get high it makes a big difference—sweaty heat.

  4. I had to read your poem aloud, Jane, for the amazing sounds, particularly in the first stanza, which reminds me of Seamus Heaney’s ‘Storm on the Island’. The sibilance in the second stanza makes the stinging sand or salt palpable. And oh, that black and bitter thunderous rage! I do enjoy a storm, even when it loosens the masonry!

    1. Thanks Kim. I’m not a fan of storms, especially when it invites itself indoors. And when you have a dog that thinks he’s one of the Von Trapp children when the thunder rolls in the middle of the night…

  5. I am glad that you have weathered the storm. Sorry Jane, I’m too late as always. I was hairing out the whole last night, because we had been predicted to have severe thunderstorms with hail. But nothing came.

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